Faith-based advocacy group More2 is demanding justice from the Kansas City Police Department following the fatal police shooting of Terrence Bridges in May. The group is calling for an indictment of the officer who killed him.
The KCPD said on May 26, they responded to 911 calls about a domestic violence incident involving a firearm. When officers arrived, police said the woman in the home told them her car had been stolen and her husband kidnapped.
KCPD said while the officer was on the scene, Bridges returned with the car he allegedly stole. When the officer attempted to arrest Bridges, police said he ran.
Bridges’ family refutes the claims in the police report. More2 spokesperson Max Sheffield-Baird said the facts don’t add up.
“There is no evidence that he had carjacked,” Sheffield-Baird said. “You do not have the keys to the car you are carjacking, drive away, and then come back an hour later to the scene. It was a car that he and his girlfriend used.”
Bridges’ family and More2 said the Kansas City Police Department distorted the facts surrounding his killing.
“They’re misleading the media and the public so they don’t have to be held accountable,” More2 Spokesperson Max Sheffield-Baird said.
A police statement released shortly after the press conference denied that there was an attempt to mislead the public and reaffirmed the version of events given that night. It also noted the shooting is under review by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.
“To protect the integrity of the process, we cannot discuss the facts involved in the shooting,” the statement reads. “We respect the judicial process and must allow it to run its course without interference.”
Bridges’ family traveled to Kansas City from Chicago, where Bridges had relocated from less than a year before he was killed, to visit his gravesite and speak at a press conference on Thursday.
“He came here to escape the violence,” Bridges’ sister Tierra Cox said. “He came here to make a better life for his kids.”
The killing of another black man in Kansas City was unsurprising to most of the family’s supporters. President of the Kansas City Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Reverend Dr. Vernon Howard, said Bridges’ death was another example of systemic racism in the KCPD.
“These are hard times which is why hard things must be said,” Rev. Dr. Howard said. “When someone white dies, the city stops. But when someone black dies from violence or police brutality, it is business as usual.”
Avery Gott is an intern at KCUR.